The Republican bill was passed which would allow companies to continue selling policies not compliant with the Affordable Care Act Standards. The vote taken to allow companies to sell non-compliant plans included 39 democrats. The voting for Keep Your Health Plan Act was sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton.
Insurance executives and President Obama were joined by Marilyn Tavernner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. “I want to welcome the executives who are here from a lot of the insurance companies that are participating in the marketplace,” the president said. “We all share a similar value, which is we want to make sure that Americans have good, solid coverage that gives them the security they need for themselves and their family members if and when they get sick.”
According to Upton this move would fulfill a promise Obama had made to the American people and then broke. “In the last three years,” Upton said during floor debate, “the president personally promised that if people liked their current healthcare plan, they could keep it ‘no matter what.’ But cancellation notices are now arriving in millions of mailboxes across the country. It’s cancellation today, sticker shock tomorrow.”
President Obama said he would veto Upton’s bill if it reached his desk. The proposal is about much more that what Obama agreed to, which would only allow insurers and state insurance commissioners to extend those policies through most of 2014 to current policyholders. It was also necessary to inform customers that the Affordable Care Benefits were not included and they would get better benefits while shopping in the health insurance marketplace.
Many Democrats face tough re-election are trying to remedy the cancellation of policies and make Obama keep his promise. “This bill is not a bill to let people keep their health insurance plans. The president took care of that issue yesterday,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said during floor debate Friday. “What this bill is, another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
“We knew this was a promise, Obama could not keep, and now it is a promise he has broken,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. The legislation’s outlook is unclear in the Senate, where Democrats also up for re-election next year are looking for a way to help consumers who face not having insurance because their policies don’t meet requirements of the 2010 law. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., offered her own plan, which would allow people to keep their current plans indefinitely. However, after the president’s announcement Thursday, many Senate Democrats said they would wait to see if additional legislation was necessary.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Top News, November 2013